As a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL), I can honestly say that there is never a dull moment! CEPAL is a legal and social science research center that emphasizes the linkage between education research, policy, and practice. As a SOLES doctoral student, I work alongside faculty members on the social science research projects that have been contracted to CEPAL. Dr. Frank Kemerer and Jodi Stanford oversee all legal matters.
CEPAL hosts an array of events, and I regularly work with our staff to prepare for them. CEPAL has hosted two mayoral forums that bring candidates together to discuss current issues related to education in San Diego. These events bring together those individuals concerned with improving our local schools and the policies that affect them. I feel like I’ve learned a great deal about San Diego’s schools and the surrounding educational policy through my involvement and attendance at these events.
The Center Director, Scott Himelstein, and Associate Directors Dr. Kemerer and Dr. Ruzic, are supportive of the work I have done with CEPAL, are aware of my research and policy interests. Their support has offered the opportunity to work on projects that are right up my alley. Throughout this year, for example, I will be working alongside Dr. Galloway to evaluate the children’s health and wellness curriculum that has been implemented in Encinitas Union School District. Being passionate about the benefits of health and wellness for children’s academic and overall success, the experiences I’ll gain through this project couldn’t be more perfect.
An average week consists of school site visits, and meetings with research teams or district personnel to progress on the particular projects. I have opportunities to engage in both quantitative and qualitative research and additionally write and report our findings. All are great responsibilities that align with my dissertation and professional aspirations.